|Tallest Drop||36 m|
|Volume (avg.)||0.24 m3/s|
|Volume (max.)||2.2 m3/s|
"The water foams down a rocky river bed as a cascade dozens of metres high, filling the entire deep spruce valley with roaring..." the photographer and author I. K. Inha described the Korkeakoski Waterfall in the early 1900s. And he knew what he was saying, because Korkeakoski was and still is Finland's highest uniform waterfall.
Korkeakoski is a scree waterfall with a total drop height of 36 metres. It is fed by the small Löytynpuro River. The waterfall is formed when the river falls down to the Korkeakoski Canyon, which is actually a fracture line in the bedrock. The fracture line is millions of years old and extends from northwest to southeast all the way to Finland's eastern border as a narrow line. After reaching the bottom of the canyon, the river meanders its way to the Tuovilanlahti Bay in the nearby Maaninkajärvi Lake.
When the water flows into the canyon, it has to struggle its way through a fan-shaped rocky slope before the stream calms down. You can admire or film the waterfall easily both above the fall's crest or from the bottom of the canyon, in front of the slope, as the paths in the area are good. In addition, there are several wooden lookout platforms, and the bottom of the canyon can be reached by stairs (tot. 192 steps). The canyon has its own micro climate, whose characteristics include moisture and coolness from the water drops of the fall. During summer, insect repellent is recommended.
Korkeakoski is at its best during spring floods and after heavy rains. Otherwise during the summer, the water levels can remain low and a large part of the rocky slope is dry. Even then, the waterfall is certainly refreshing sight, because its beauty does not originate so much from the quantity of water, but from the deep canyon, which makes the water fall far from above, like from a mountain. During the spring floods, however, the waterfall reveals its true force, and even photographing is easier when the trees do not yet have leaves.
Originally the waterfall became widely known as a sight from the drawings of author Zacharias Topelius in his book series Finland framstäldt i teckningar (1845–1852). Also Elias Lönnrot – the famous collector of traditional Finnish oral poetry – visited at the waterfall probably in the first half of the 1800s. Today, Korkeakoski and the landscape around it is one of the oldest nature reserves in Northern Savonia region. The nature reserve was established for the first time in 1947, after there had been a small conflict about harnessing the waterfall for hydroelectric use (the plan was never realized).
Korkeakoski was an important nature sight already in 19th century. Photo by: archive of Kuopio Museum of Cultural History (Karl Granit's collection)
In addition to the waterfall itself, the most important nature values of the area include the natural spruce forests, fresh and wet groves and small water creeks. In the canyon area there has been also sightings of a number of rare plant and bird species (plants for example drooping woodreed (Cinna latifolia), wood stitchwort (Stellaria nemorum) and woodmillet (Milium effusum), as well as birds for example Eurasian three-toed woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus). The nature reserve is also important on a European scale, as it is part of the EU's Natura 2000 network.
The waterfall is easy to get to from the Korkeakoskentie road, and you can leave your car to a small parking area in the immediate vicinity of the fall. Next to the parking area, there is a small café (open during summer), and there is also a toilet, a campfire site and a 3.2 -kilometer-long nature trail ("the canyon tour") in the area. In the 1700s there was a watermill in the fall, which according to tradition, was washed down the waterfall during spring floods in the late 1800s. As a result, two millstones can still be seen in the upper part of the rapids, when the water is low.
On the whole, Korkeakoski is a beautiful and refreshing waterfall, which has a unique atmosphere, not only because of the height of the fall, but also because of the surrounding nature reserve and unique landscape. The only drawback is the small average amount of water. With a larger flow rate I would have given it full five stars. But even in the current state, Korkeakoski is an impressive sight.
Ps. Korkeakoski also has a special place in my heart, because it was the very first waterfall I photographed for this website in the summer of 2009. I visited it for the second time in the spring of 2010.
Korkeakoskentie 107, Maaninka (Kuopio)
GPS: 63.24072 (N), 27.06167 (E)
Open the location in Google Maps
The waterfall is adjacent to the parking area.
Waterfall on mapOpen the fall on the official terrain map of NLS
Video of the waterfall
Waterfall added to the site 29.12.2015, last updated 14.07.2018